Ways to Start Watching Birds
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Drs. Foster & Smith Backyard Kids - Wild Birds
Birdwatching for Kids - Learn to identify, feed, & enjoy wild birds
Bird watching is a popular hobby for people of all ages. Many bird watchers start this fascinating hobby by getting to know the birds in their own backyard. Attract them with food, clean water, and protection from predators. Once they start visiting, the following tips will help you identify what you're looking at.
  1. Get a Field Guide. This is a book that shows drawings & photos of birds, along with interesting facts about the bird, such as where it lives, what it eats, whether it migrates, what kind of habitat it requires, and much more. There are guides available just for kids.

  2. Learn what birds to expect where you live. The habitat you live in greatly determines the birds you are likely to find in your area. This will help you limit your searching once you open your field guide. If you live in an open area, you can probably rule out birds that prefer the shore or woods, unless these habitats are nearby.

  3. Use binoculars. Most birds get spooked easily when you try to get up close for viewing. Binoculars help bring them up close to you, so you can get a better look at their colors, markings, etc.

  4. Take note of what the bird looks like. Avoid running to get your field guide when you first see a bird, for it may be gone by the time you get back. Instead, stop where you are and pay special attention to the bird's coloring, markings, size, and beak size and shape. Later, when you pull out your field guide, you will find it easier to recall the species you saw.

  5. Start a Bird Club with your friends. Share information with each other, including books and magazines about birds. Go on a birding trip in your neighborhood, to see how many species you can find in a single outing. Remember to keep a log of all the species you find.
Bird watching for kids
Field Guides